What are the Most Cost Effective Modifications for my Glock?

I saw this question on one of the Glock Facebook groups that I read. It is an awesome question.

The Stock Glock

Of course, there are many people that are perfectly fine with Glock Perfection. Out of the box, the Glock is a great gun, and is incredibly well regarded in the military, police, private security, shooting competition, and self defense industries.  The various Glock versions out there account for a very large part of the market. There is a very good reason why the Glock is so well respected and accepted in the market: It is a damned fine firearm that is incredibly reliable.

Modifications

Like any mechanical device, there are those that feel they can do things better and make the product, overall, better for some people. Everyone is different, and no gun is going to be optimal for every person for every potential role where it might be used. I will use the HORRIBLE example of the NYPD where some individuals decided that the trigger spring should be replaced with what is now known as the New York trigger spring. The idea of this change was to make the Glock more like a double action pistol and to reduce negligent discharges by police officers. It may have accomplished the goal, but it also made the gun incredibly hard to shoot it accurately. This is one example of changes that have been made, whether good or not, based upon a desire of some parties. There are many.

Here are the responses that were provided to the question that is the title of this blog article, and I have included some of my thoughts. I have tried to group some of the answers together. My answers are also included in this list:

  • Trigger work – There are many people that do not like the stock Glock trigger, and there are some good reasons for it. The take-up, which also disengages the safeties, is very different when compared to something like a 1911.
    • 25 cent trigger job – This is simply taking the trigger apart and polishing the parts that rub against each other to make the trigger smoother and reduce the force required to fire the gun.
    • Trigger replacement – There are many complete trigger replacements that can be purchased from third parties and installed.
    • New connector and/or springs – It is nice that some simple changes can make a positive change in the trigger.

My thoughts: I, personally, have done a 25 cent trigger job on every single one of my Glocks, and I have noticed the difference between the before and the after. I have also replaced the connectors in each of my Glocks with a polished minus connector. I feel that my Glocks are much easier to shoot accurately because of the improvements in the trigger’s feel and the weight required to fire the gun.

  • Sights – The sights that come with most Glocks, most meaning that there are options, are polymer sights with the traditional U rear sight. It is a unique and identifiable sight. However, it is not necessarily the best sight for every shooter.
    • Steel – Many people will replace the sight with the Glock U sights that are made out of steel and are much more durable than that polymer sights.
    • 3 dot – There are many after market 3 dot sight sets that are installed, and provide a sight picture that many people are used to seeing on their other guns, and it just feels better to them.
    • Night – Night sights are available from Glock and from third parties. There are several great night sights as well as fiber sights that make the sights much more visible in low light conditions.
    • Red Dot – Glock has embraced the red dot sight revolution with its MOS models that are pre-milled for optional red dot sights. This is a fairly expensive option, and pretty revolutionary in that now all a shooter has to do is put the dot on the target and pull the trigger.

My thoughts: I have installed night sights, from Glock, on every one of my Glocks except for one of my G19s which has a third party night sight. I would love to use a red dot, but, damn, they are expensive. I think it is very important that every shooter feels comfortable with the sights on their Glock. If they can’t get the best shots with the current sights, they should replace them with sights that will allow them to place good shots on their targets.

  • Slide modifications – Some slide modifications are simple part replacements, and others are more complex and require more effort and expense.
    • Recoil spring – Stiffer, looser, other designs for recoil springs are available for Glocks and they can impact the recoil of the gun.
    • Guide rod – Tungsten and stainless steel are the most common options. The idea is that they improve the recoil as well as reduce muzzle flip because of the increased weight.
    • Firing pins and springs – Titanium and skeletonized firing pins as well as different springs are available and can change the trigger by changing the lock time, the pull weight, and how hard the firing pin strikes the primer. It is vital that the changes do not result in too light of strikes or you may end up with lots of Type 1 malfunctions.
    • Extended slide stop ever – Fixing malfunctions can be made easier by making the slide stop lever easier to manipulate.
    • Extended mag release – Reloading is much easier with the extended mag releases that are easier to manipulate by feel.
    • Barrel – Barrel replacements for caliber change kits are pretty common, and going to a non-polygonal barrel to shoot reloads and lead projectiles is pretty common.
    • Slide milling – The idea is that weight can be removed and it will change the recoil and the lock time. Some people will also have milling done for decoration.

My thoughts: I am not about to do any slide milling, unless it is to install a red dot sight, but I understand why others do it. Personally, I see the small costs of extended slide stops and magazine releases that will make is easier for me to reload as well as fix malfunctions, and I have done these two mods on all of my Glocks.

  • Frame modifications – There really are not many mods made to frames, but some people are do look for every advantage they can get.
    • Grips – Talon and other third party grips make it easier for many people to get a better grip on their gun when drawing and shooting.
    • Grip stippling – For those looking for a more permanent solution, there are lots of people that swear by stippling to provide more texture to their guns, and some also use it for decoration.
    • Mag wells – Being able to swap out magazines in the event of malfunctions or reloading the gun is enhanced with flared mag wells.

My thoughts – I am fine with the stock frames of most Glocks, but I do see that some smaller Glocks would be improved with better grips so that shooter gets a better hold of their guns. I have put Talon grips on one of my Glocks, and I have to admit that I really like them. I may be adding them to others in the near future.

  • Magazine modifications – Capacity is probably one of the most important concerns for any gun owner, and Glock owners are no exceptions.
    • Mag extensions – Increased capacity, as well as increasing the grip length at the same time, can be very beneficial.
    • Mag bases – Many people replace the polymer base plates with aluminum or steel base plates to increase the longevity of their magazines, and to also add weight so they fall free faster in a speed reload.
    • MagGuts – Replacing the magazine spring and follower can add a round or two to the capacity without changing the size of the magazine.

My thoughts – Nope, I haven’t done it. Yet. I am sure that a G42 or 43 would gain from increased capacity, so I am going to have to give this more consideration.

Training

Upgrading the shooter may have a greater benefit than modifying the gun. I would say that almost every single shooter that I know can’t take full advantage of the gun that they own. The gun is not the limiting factor in pretty much every case.

Here is what you probably need to get the most out of training:

    • Bullets – Obviously, you need more ammunition to train more. Buy it up!
    • Uplula speed loader – Some of us are glad to save the stress on our thumbs when it comes to loading up our magazines. A nice speed loader will make life so much easier when it comes to loading up and topping off magazines in a day of training.
    • Range membership – Of course, if you want to shoot more, you need more access to range time. Some of us hard core shooters have personal ranges, but many do not, so dig deep and buy a membership so you can get a lane at the range whenever you want to shoot.
    • Holster – I almost felt stupid when I missed this one. A good holster is vital. After all, we are training to shoot, and what is the best place to keep your gun? Well, yeah, a holster is the best place to keep your gun.
    • A good training class with good shooting instructors.

Summary

I see the value of making changes to your gun so that it is easier for you to use. The whole idea is to be able to place good shots, and if changing out a spring or something makes it easier, then do it. However, don’t forget, there are lots of great instructors out there, and a couple of corrections to your grip or your trigger press can make way more difference than a new spring.

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